Posted by Jeff Benson on Apr 03, 2018

Nils Friberg opened the meeting with the Pledge and the Invocation.


We were honored to have Past District 5960 Governor Tom Yuzer as a guest today.  We also had a visit from a prospective member whose last name I missed (first name was Al).


We celebrated two birthdays today, serenading Ed James and Bev Aplikowski with the Birthday Song.


President Gerry Tietz thanked Dennis Connolly for his hard work in pulling together all the information for the District Governor’s Awards, which will be announced at the 2018 Conference of Clubs, which will be held April 19-20 at the brand new Mystic Lake Center at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake.  I believe that you can still register for the Conference of Clubs by clicking here.


Gerry recognized the efforts of all those who contributed to the success of our 29th annual Egg Hunt last Saturday.  Egg Czar Dave Hoel seconded Gerry’s thanks and noted that, because the snow prevented us from distributing all the eggs this year, there were jelly beans left over.  The children’s loss is your gain, however, because those jelly beans are available for you for the paltry sum of just $1 per 2 cup bag.  If they were not sold out today, there may be jelly beans for sale again at our next meeting.


Gerry thanked Michelle Caron for organizing last Wednesday’s sign painting social event.  Attendance was light but a great time was had by all.


You’re invited to attend the 25th annual Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge Gala on May 4th, 5:30-9:00PM, at the Hilton Minneapolis.  The event will feature Minnesota Gophers Head Coach, P.J. Fleck and KSTP Anchor, Leah McLean.  To register, or get more information, click here.

Ed James reported that two Irondale students, Iva Hammett-Kess and Adam Johnson, have been selected to be our representatives at Camp RYLA.  Ed also reminded us that many volunteers will be needed to hand out trees for our Fourth Grade Foresters program from Noon to 4PM on April 27th.  Please let Ed know if you can help with this fun project.


The Gold Plate Dinner is just ten days away and Bev Aplikowski is happy to report that we have sold all but 3 tickets as of today’s meeting.  It seems that some of you have not yet turned in your ticket stubs and/or your meal choices yet.  If you are among the negligent, please get that information to Beverly now!


John Marg-Patton announced that Dana Rebelein had won the weekly GPD ticket sales contest a couple of weeks back (while she was recovering from surgery) and Dana was happy to receive a fine Australian Merlot as a reward for her sales ability.  The current week’s winner was Michael Johnson, who selected a 4-pack of IPA.  Cindy suggested that Beverly Aplikowski receive a special award for selling a total of 11 tickets.


Cor Wilson won the raffle for the 2nd week in a row!


Our program today was Nyle Zikmund, presenting his new member Classification Talk.  Nyle was born in Hibbing and moved to Blaine as a youngster.  Although he has changed homes a few times since then, he still lives in Blaine.  He has been married to Theresa for 36 years and they have one son and one grandson, who live just 7 blocks away from them.  Nyle and President Gerry are apparently fellow alums of UW Stout.  Nyle and family love to travel and have visited all 50 states, much of Canada and internationally.  The international focus has been intensified because they have hosted eight international exchange students, remaining in contact with almost all of them and travelling to visit most of them.


Nyle’s first career ambition was to be a high school woodshop teacher, but industrial arts program cuts made that impossible, so he did the next best thing and went to work in a woodworking shop.  Eventually he would own Oakcraft, Incorporated, which he recently sold with the provision that he would have lifetime access to the shop.


Nyle also worked as a firefighter with the Spring Lake Park Blaine Mounds View Fire Department, eventually becoming Chief of the department.  Nyle also served on the board of the International Association of Fire Chiefs.


Nyle came out of retirement to take the City Administrator position in Mounds View.  Theresa runs her own business, Fire Services Consulting.  Nyle has a role in her company as well.  He describes his role as: “whatever she tells me to do”.


Nyle has been involved in the restoration of two unique vehicles: a 1953 Packard Henny and a 1923 American LaFrance Fire Truck.


Nyle’s family is one of only 41 remaining private landowners in the Voyageurs National Park.  The property was purchased by his grandmother and the family has resisted attempts by the Voyageurs National Park Association to purchase the property.


Gerry and Nyle are shown below.